Bittersweet Day for Roosevelt Island as OMNY Arrives at the Tram


“Today’s a big milestone for our OMNY program,” MTA Chair Janno Lieber said at a press conference on Thursday as OMNY arrives finally. “Riders can now tap and go to get onto the Roosevelt Island tram. I’ll point out, this is the first OMNY expansion outside of the subways and buses that are the heart of the MTA service.” Good for a press conference, not so hot for Roosevelt Islanders

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

For years now, Roosevelt Islanders have waited for OMNY readers at the Tram. Finally, today and way behind schedule, it arrived with a little fanfare and even less information.

OMNY means Roosevelt Islanders can throw away their MetroCards and take advantage of system discounts, but it’s not all love and kisses.

And most of the advantages go to the tourists.

No information was offered about the deeply flawed revenue sharing deal that’s allowed the MTA to steal from Roosevelt Island for over a decade. That’s not good, but for many Roosevelt Islanders, there’s another loss that matters.

OMNY Arrives and Roosevelt Islanders Lose

With OMNY readers now installed, Roosevelt Islanders lose the unofficial privilege of skipping the MetroCard lines and getting ahead of the tourist influx. Now, they will join the long lines across the plaza and down 59th and 60th Streets.

Countless appeals for resident preference – Roosevelt Islanders pay for the Tram’s large annual losses – went unheeded by RIOC.

The lost privilege will be even more acute because it lands just as F Train service is curtailed and only partly replaced by shuttles, meaning even more people will jam the Tram cabins for months to come.

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